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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 4, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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deadliest day. hundreds killed as syria plunges deeper into crisis and a bitter fight during an emergency meeting at the u.n. first in the west. tonight, voters have their say in nevada. as decision 2012 turns to a key swing state. winter whiteout. recocord snowfall plain equitie part of the u.s. as europe suffers through a deep freeze. super bowl fever with 24 hours to go, it's pandemonium in indianapolis. the fans, the teams and the high school kids given a once in a lifetime opportunity. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. as we come on the air tonight, all eyes are on the middle east and two unfolding crises. in syria, the latest attempt to crush the anti-government uprising may have been the deadliest yet with hundreds reportedly killed in a bombardment of syria's third largest city. tonight, president obama is calling on syria's president assad to step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately. but today, a u.n. resolution calling for assad to leave failed when china and russia refused to support it. and also iran is raising the stakes in its tense standoff with israel. we've got our team in place from washington to across the middle east. we'll start in cairo with nbc's ayman mohyeldin who is monitoring the latest events.
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what's the latest? >> reporter: good evening, lester. it was an attack that happened under the cover of darkness, but by daylight, the human toll was apparent for the world to see. because it's hard for journalists to report from inside syria, we have been relying on footage from the act is lists to tell this story. so we have to warn our viewers that some of the images are disturbing. activists are describing it as the single deadliest day in the 11-month syrian uprising. a barrage of mortars raining down on the city of homes, killing more than 200 people. amateur footage which we couldn't independently verify captured the horror of the nighttime attack as some are calling a massacre. >> we're trying to remove the bodies from the middle of the street and we get shot at. we tried to get doctors and medication to the area. >> reporter: homs has seen the most intense fighting.
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video on pro government tv stations portrayed life as normal. by daylight, thousands defied the risk of continued violence, taking to the streets and mourning their dead in funerals. not just in homs, but across the country. syrians continue to grieve russia and china block the united nations resolution that was trying to enthe violence. the syrian opposition says it's not deterred. >> the people will continue regardless of what's going on on the internal stage. people will continue democr demonstrating. >> reporter: it triggered demonstrations in london, cairo and while they're dismayed by the u.n.'s actions, thousands poured on to the streets and their resolve has not been broken. lester, a senior opposition
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leader tells us it would be suicide to stop the protests now because the assad government would seek out and punish anyone that dared to speak out and demonstrate against its in the past 11 months. >> thank you. we want to bring in the chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. a contentious showdown at the u.n. where do things stand right now? >> reporter: this was a terrible day for the united nations and diplomacy. the u.n. resolution had been watered down to try to get russiaen oboard, but russia said it would still vote no and bring china along with it. and because of the unprecedented will evils of the attack, the violence by the regime by the opposition, the u.s., europe and the arab league all decided to call russia's bluff. this was unprecedented. and force a vote anyway. afterward, u.s. ambassadors susan rice said that the united states was quote, disgusted by russia's veto. >> for months, this council has been held hostage by a couple
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members. these members stand behind empty arguments and individual interests. this intransigence is even more shameful when you consider that at least one of these members continues to deliver weapons to assad. >> reporter: earlier in the day in munich, secretary of state hillary clinton had a tough meeting with her russian counterpart, who said that the resolution would have amounted to taking sides in a civil war. but the fear now is that the u.n.'s failure to react will encourage assad to be more brutal. there's no plans for the u.s. to go it alone, to intervene on its own. not without the stamp of approval from the united nations. >> andrea mitchell, thanks. another flash point in the middle east -- iran, which today flexed its muscles, taunting israel and the u.s. by conducting military exercises in a show of force. tensions between israel and iran
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have escalated in recent days. we want to get the latest from both countries tonight. our chief foreign correspond end richard engel is in tel aviv and one is in iran. what is the awareness about the tension, how heavily is it being reported in the press there? >> reporter: well, people are very aware of the tensions here, lester. i mean, it's not being reported that heavily in the press because that's carefully staged managed. but yesterday, iran's supreme leader the final authority in the country gave a live televised sermon during friday prayers but he kept saying that the enemy is at the gate. he has been warning the country and the threats from israel is at the gate. so the country is on high alert. he spoke for an hour and a half about the threats to the country from israel, and how iran would retaliate. that's a very jittery feeling on the streets today and over the past few weeks. >> i'll put the same question to
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richard. does it feel like a country on a war footing in fear of attack? >> reporter: it certainly does not. today's obviously a saturday and if you walk around tel aviv, you will see people at the beach, playing paddle ball, walking their dogs. getting a lot of at ttention in the media, but when you walk around people don't think that this is imminent. they also say that israel has faced threats before, israel faced the gulf war, faced the war with lebanon. most israelis have bomb shelters in their homes. a lot of people have been making sure that the bomb shelters are still up to snuff. that they have the gas mask in place. but there certainly is not an element of fear or panic. this country is not facing sanctions. the economy here is actually going quite well right now. so very different picture in iran where to a degree they are facing a conflict. here, it's life as normal with a theoretical challenge. people are taking seriously, but are not allowing it to direct
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their lives. >> the world holds its breath. gentlemen, thanks very much. to presidential politics now. tonight, voters are having their say in nevada a key swing state and an important battleground in the fall. nbc's peter alexander joining us from the campaign trail in las vegas. good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. mitt romney is counting on a convincing victory, and he won four years ago with the majority, 51% of the vote. he spent his day out of state in colorado ahead of tuesday's primary there. in colorado springs, specifically. he'll be back here in las vegas tonight for a caucus night celebration with his supporters. also this week mitt romney parted ways with his debate coach who the advisers had become concerned was getting too much credit for his strong debate performances in recent weeks. the economy in the state of nevada is the top story. nearly 13% unemployment rate and
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the foreclosure rate is nearly four times the national average. newt gingrich will be hosting his party at the me venetian, the party owned by sheldoned aalson who's put money into the pro gingrich super pac. and ron paul has vowed in the race through the summer and is hoping to use this as one of the many caucus states where he collects delegates. >> peter alexander on the trail in vegas, thanks. david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." he joins us from washington. we don't know the outcome in nevada right now, but if gingrich can't pull this off, what does that say about his ability to raise money and stay in the race to the end as he hope hopes to? >> well, the end for gingrich is about getting to super tuesday where there's a some southern contests where he thinks he can be successful. we're looking at home turf advantage for mitt romney and it's twofold. it's the contest, where they are and also the calendar. this is a very light month. only one debate. not a lot of attention.
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and so that's bad for gingrich. gingrich not only has to raise the money, but has to be very concerned about falling behind romney. if gingrich should finish third in nevada another blow for him on top of the money issues. and where is he going to build that contrast with romney now you? see him starting to compare him to president obama. but i think gingrich needs a second act here. a way to really distinguish himself on conservative record from romney. >> david gregory. we'll remind everyone that newt gingrich is among your guests tomorrow on "meet the press." a powerful winter storm is making its way across the nation's heartland after blanketing parts of the rocky mountains. the weather channel's mike seidel joins us. how is it looking right now? >> they're biggest out from under the biggest snowstorm in
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february. 15 inches of powder shut the city down yesterday. at the airport, 600 flight cancellations. a 150 mile stretch of i-70 reopened. today the symptom dumped on nebraska. they were shoveling cars out of snow banks in omaha and they set a record. it's still snowing there. another inch or two before it wraps up this evening. the storm moves east and weakens and most that falls on sunday will be rain. temperatures still warmer than average. a terrific super bowl sunday forecast in indianapolis. the sun is back out. highs in the upper 40s. >> mike seidel. thank you. much of europe continues to strug with record cold and snow, a deadly deep freeze has lasted for more than a week. >> reporter: across the entire
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continent and beyond, it is unrelenting and unforgiving. >> we haven't had this kind of weather in a long time. >> reporter: in eastern europe 176 people have died. 122 in ukraine alone. in bosnia, three feet of fell overnight. there is even snow in the northern tip of africa. roads iced over in algeria. it is colder still in northern europe. some parts of finland recording the record minus 40. more than 100 accidents in helsinki. in germany, a 26-year-old man was killed after he lost control on the road. many countries including france and ukraine have set up temporary shelters for the homeless who are the hardest hit. and the cold has closed rome's coliseum. historic low temperatures amid the ancient ruins, making transportation difficult. flights are disrupted.
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passengers delayed from heathrow to sarajevo. >> i don't know what we will do. >> reporter: the most snow for decades has brought children on the streets of afghanistan, but the youngest are the most vulnerable. there are reports of children in refugee camps freezing to death and forecasters predict the punishing cold will last until the end of next week. and we can tell you more than 100,000 russians braved the cold demanding an end to vladimir putin. the presidential election could send him back to the clem lyn for another six years. we have posted a full report by jim maceda on the website. when "nightly news" continues, millions of americans struck by a serious case of football fever. later a city in shock. parents outraged and demanding answers as a school district reels from scandal. information out there?tritl
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specific evidence of a credible threat, but they're not taking any chances. there will be a no fly zone in effect for much of tomorrow. today though, the 300,000 fans or so who descended on indy, they continued the nonstop street party. cold, steady rain could not keep fans off the streets of indianapolis. warming up for tomorrow's big game. >> we are not going home without a victory. >> a repeat four years later. >> reporter: what's been dubbed hoosier hospitality has been on display all week. from free concerts, to zip lines for the brave who wants a birds eye view of it all. organizers hoisted temporary signs to attract fans from all over and the city suspended open container laws for the weekend. so far, the only major challenge than managing clogged streets. inside one of the command centers, workers monitor 80 cameras equipped with facial
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recognition software and a specially designed program that tracks people's behaviors to detract crimes before they happen. >> we are probably the most technology protected super bowl in the history so far. >> reporter: while stepped up security has become standard for first time the giants and patriots match-up will be streamed live online. and a social media hub for a small arm of self-professed super geeks scours the internet about 50 volunteers track key words to help fans avoid lines, find food and spot celebrities. technology isn't the only change since that first super bowl in 1967. back then, a ticket ran about nine bucks. a seat at sunday's game, just over $3,800. and then the ads are more expensive. tomorrow, $3.5 million. while some things have changed
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over the years fan excitement certainly has not. >> let's go big blue. let's get them tomorrow! >> reporter: and the giants, 50 minute practice today. the patriots did not practice today. we're told they had a team meeting. and nbc's coverage starts tomorrow at noon eastern. when we come back, one of the country's largest school districts rocked by scandal. [ laughs ] [ mayhem ] please continue to hold. the next available claims representative will be with you in 97 minutes. [ laughs ] ♪ and if you've got cut rate insurance, there's nothing you can do about this. so get allstate. the only insurance company that guarantees your claim experience won't be mayhem... like me. [ dennis ] introducing the claim satisfaction guarantee. only from allstate. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate.
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whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪ we're back now with a scandal making headlines in southern california. the country's second largest school district is reeling and outraged parents are deand wh what -- demanding answers after
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a teacher was arrested accused of horrifying crimes of the children in his care. we get more now from nbc's adee did roy. >> reporter: he had worked at the elementary school his entire career, teaching there since 199. but in january of 2011, the los angeles unified school district removed mark burns from the classroom after they received some suspicious photographs. he resigned one month later after the board voted to fire him. this week, authorities arrested him accusing him of abusing the children between 2005 and 2010. >> i'm a teacher and a dad. it's appalling. >> reporter: a lawyer representing the parents of one alleged victim a 10-year-old girl, filed the civil suit
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against the school district. >> this is no game. these are young kids. their lives, forever impacted by a sordid man. >> reporter: some 1,400 children go to the elementary school, most are low income and more than half are learning english as a second language. some parents think these factors made their children vulnerable. >> i'm afraid. >> reporter: yesterday a second teacher was arrested. martin springer, a 26 year veteran at the school for allegedly fondling two girls in the classroom. he will appear in court next week. investigators say the two cases are not related. one former prosecutor says the allegations are a wake-up call to all schools. >> i think it's a nationwide problem. i think every school is vulnerable to this. >> reporter: the los angeles school district says it's working with authorities and will hold town hall meetings with parents. trying to regain trust in a stunned community. adidi roy, los angeles.
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popular character actor ben gazzara has died. he played in movies and on broadway. he originated the role of brick in "cat on a hot tin roof" and he starred in "run for your life." he battled cancer. he was 81 years old. up next here tonight, the high school football team getting to play a super bowl of their own. [ gargling ] oo-ay-ow. savings. savings. savings? progressive was the first to offer online quoting. you can do better. first to show comparison rates. ding! the "name your price" tool. oh! gosh, don't mind if i do. who was the first to offer pet injury coverage? we were. and when did you know you wanted to sell insurance? i said i wouldn't cry. um... whee! it's flo time. now, that's progressive. ca or click today. do you often experience the feeling of a dry mouth? it can be the side effect of many medications.
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finally tonight, it's usually a long road from the high school gridiron to the super bowl, but for india's fisher high tigers the 2010 champs that road took a short cut this week, to the turf of the lucas oil stadium where they ran some plays that will have a big effect now when the rest of us see tomorrow's game. >> set, 315. >> they're the plays that got the giants and the patriots to the super bowls. and the ones these indiana high school players have been learning all week. they're prepping to be stand-ins for the tv cameras. twice the number of a typical sunday night game that will capture every angle of the super bowl. >> when you're sitting in the control room, things are happening so fast. so the producer and the director are looking at not only are their 26 screens that they have normally, now it's like 48. >> each high schooler is
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assigned a real nfl player to study. >> and the young man that's em you late -- emulating gronkowski is going to slam it into the ground just like he does. >> and then the big day comes. a full dress rehearsal yesterday, shot by the team complete with all the theatrics of the big game. >> i felt like it was a super bowl for us. >> steven got to play the right guard. >> and it's indianapolis, our hometown. this is amazing. it will be something special that we hold with us for the rest of our lives. >> who knows? this could mean bigger things. >> well, getting the playbooks was a huge boost for us. maybe we could sneak a few plays in our playbook and get ourselves to the super bowl. >> while they're just acting, sometimes it doesn't feel like it. >> hey, without us, i don't think the super bowl would happen. >> imagine the bragging rights.
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a reminder that full coverage of super bowl xlvi starts tomorrow at noon eastern here on nbc. that's going to do it for "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. from all of us at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com

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